Monégasque language

Monégasque language

speakers= 35,657 (2006)

Monégasque (natively "Munegascu") is a Romance language and a dialect of the modern Ligurian language, which is spoken in Monaco. It is rather similar to the language spoken in Genoa, but differs from its neighbour languages Intemelian and Mentonasque. It has been strongly influenced by Niçard Occitan. Contemporary Niçard Occitan is also traditionally spoken in some parts of Monaco, besides Monégasque. Before the annexation of the County of Nice to France in 1860, the Nizzardo Italians spoke a Nissart dialect very similar to the Monégasque.

It is spoken in addition to French by the Monégasques. Because the Monégasques are only a minority in Monaco, Monégasque was threatened with extinction in the 1970s. But the language is now being taught in schools, and its continuance is regarded as secured. In the old part of Monaco, the street signs are marked with Monégasque in addition to French.

Monégasque orthography generally follows Italian principles, with the following exceptions:

* the ü is pronounced as in German, or as the French u.
* the œ is pronounced as the French é, and not like the French œu as in bœuf, which is how œ is pronounced in Ligurian, which also uses the character ö to represent this sound.
* the ç is pronounced as in the French ç IPA| [s] : "tradiçiùn" comes from the Latin "traditio [nem] " , and not from the Italian "tradizione".

Below is an excerpt from the Monégasque national anthem, written by Louis Notari. In addition, there exists an older French version of the anthem whose lyrics bear different meaning. The choice between the two forms is generally subject to occasion and circumstance.

"Despoei tugiù sciü d'u nostru paise
Se ride au ventu, u meme pavayùn
Despoei tugiù a curù russa e gianca
E stà l'emblema, d'a nostra libertà
Grandi e i piciui, l'an sempre respetà"

ee also

* Languages of Italy
* Italian dialects
* European languages
* Nizzardo Italians

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